Disinfo: ‘Cherry’ on sanctions: EU’s fruit exports lose millions due to Russian countersanctions


Russian counter-sanctions affected EU fruit exports. Specialists note that the embargo, which Moscow was forced to impose in response to Western restrictions, led to losses of $170 million from sales of peaches and nectarines, and another $41 million from cherries. According to Russian experts, the European economy was significantly affected by the imposition of sanctions, while Russia received a boost to develop its own agricultural production.


Recurring disinformation narrative about Western sanctions against Russia claiming that they produce only positive effects on Russia (similar cases herehere and here).

The report published by USDA GAIN does mention that the EU stone fruit exports declined as a result of the 2014 Russian embargo. However, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service follows by stating that the loss of the Russian market has been "offset with an increase in exports to the other Member States and to third countries such as Switzerland and Brazil." Same for the EU cherries, whose main destinations are now Belarus, Switzerland and Serbia.

Overall, the European Commission set up emergency measures to help European farmers address market pressure. As a result, EU exports of agri-food products have continuously increased since the introduction of the ban, reaching a record €138 billion in 2017, 15% higher than in 2013. On top of that, promotion funds have been increased in order to boost exports to alternative markets. Agricultural products were never the EU's main exports to Russia.

Further debunking by The Insider can be found here. Read similar case claiming that the Russian economy is developing better than the EU due to sanctions.


  • Reported in: Issue 165
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, US
  • Keywords: EU, Economic difficulties, Sanctions


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Imperialistic Poland feeds animosities between Ukrainians, Belarusians and Russians

After the collapse of the USSR Poland revitalized the idea of Intermarium project, which foresees the creation of a buffer out of bordering states. Intermarium remains part of Polish domestic and foreign policies and illustrates its imperial ambitions. By attracting Ukrainian and Belarusian migrants, running a propagandistic campaign against Ukrainian and Belarusian governments and Russian world concept, Polish authorities aim to establish anti-Russian Intermarium and to feed animosities between the representatives of the [all-Russian] community.

Polish Giedroyc-Mieroszewski doctrine is still in place and envisages, among other things, weakening Russia by tearing Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and Caucasian countries away, pulling Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia in the EU and NATO, bringing cheap labour force from Ukraine and Belarus for the benefit of the Polish economy.


This is a conspiracy theory and misrepresentation of actual Giedroyc-Mieroszewski doctrine. See here for a similar example. The message contains recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Poland's imperialistic plans to partition Belarus and Ukraine and to establish the Fourth Republic and to disrupt Belarus-Russia and Ukraine-Russia ties.

The mentioned doctrine was developed in the 1970s by Polish émigrés Jerzy Giedroyc and Juliusz Mieroszewski. The doctrine urged the need to rebuild good relations among Central and Eastern European countries and framed Poland's relations with Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus as the foundation of its foreign policy. This called for Poland to reject any imperial ambitions and controversial territorial claims, and to accept the post-war border changes. The doctrine supported independence for Belarus and Ukraine. It did not promote the idea to establish a Polish empire at the expense of Poland's eastern neighbours. See here for more information about the Giedroyc-Mieroszewski doctrine.

No evidence of Russian meddling in the French and US elections

Numerous Western politicians, US senators and congressmen, as well as French President Emanuel Macron, have accused Sputnik and RT of interfering in the US elections and elections in France, but have never provided evidence for their claims.


Recurring disinformation narrative that there is no proof of Russian interference in the elections in Western countries and the US - see examples here and here.

In reality, there is evidence linking Russian state actors with interfering in electoral processes.

Brexit is the greatest US victory in the EU’s history

The UK’s exit from the EU is the greatest victory of the Americans in the whole history of the EU. Britain and Poland are the US’s right and left hands.


This message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Brexit, EU-US relations and the alleged US actions to weaken the EU.

In fact, studies show that Russia had an interest in influencing the discussion on Brexit: over 156,000 Russian-based Twitter accounts had massively tweeted about Brexit in the days leading up the June 2016 referendum. According to the study by data scientists at Swansea University and the University of California, Berkeley, the accounts posted more than 45,000 tweets about Brexit in the 48 hours before the vote. The majority of the posts encouraged Britons to vote for Brexit. The authors believe the posts were seen hundreds of millions of times.